Birding Our New Neighborhood

One of the things we love about our new neighborhood is its pedestrian- and bike-friendly layout. We are a stone’s throw from the ponds and paths in the heart of The Market Common district and about a mile from Myrtle Beach State Park, an easy walk.

On Sunday, Feb. 2, we birded the woodland trails southwest of the state park entrance station, where we had a nice view of a hermit thrush perched on a tree branch. On Sunday, Feb. 9, we walked around our neighborhood, finding Eastern bluebirds, yellow-rumped warblers, and a brown-headed nuthatch. We then headed to the pond behind the Crabtree Gym, where we spotted a lone Ross’s goose swimming among the Canada geese.

This small white goose with black wingtips winters in the Western U.S. but has been working its way eastward. Ross’s geese have been spotted in The Market Common area off and on since around Christmas, and we saw three of them one day in a large flock of Canada geese. Last Sunday there was only one Ross’s but it was close enough to photograph. Near the end of our walk, a northern mockingbird patiently posed for a portrait.

thrush_hermit02

Hermit thrush, Catharus guttatus, is a woodland bird with a beautiful whistling song.

Eastern bluebird, sialia sialis

Eastern bluebird, sialia sialis, is a colorful visitor to feeders and nesting boxes.

Ross's goose, chen rossii

The diminutive Ross’s goose, chen rossii, usually thought of as a Western U.S. species, is showing up occasionally on the East Coast.

goose_ross02 goose_ross03 goose_ross04

Northern mockingbird, mimus polyglottos

Like its name suggests, the northern mockingbird, mimus polyglottos, is adept at mimicking the calls and songs of other birds.

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